HC Deb 10 June 1959 vol 606 cc92-3W
59. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in view of the international conference now being held at Geneva and of any resulting international agreement, if he will take steps to ensure that any such international agreement and all future international agreements to which Her Majesty's Government shall be a party shall include clauses to the effect that disputes which may arise as to the interpretation of the agreement shall be submitted to the International Court and that the nations which are parties to the agreement shall be bound by the decision of that Court in such cases.

Mr. R. Allan

It is the general policy of Her Majesty's Government to support the reference of legal disputes to the International Court of Justice. We are one of the thirty-two nations who have accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court. It is not, however, possible to give an assurance in the very wide terms suggested by the hon. and learned Member, if only because Her Majesty's Government cannot by themselves ensure that all treaties to which they may become parties shall include such clauses.